Outstanding In-House Team 2017

Harman, a $7 billion international auto technology company, maintains a nimble global corporate comms team of 15.


Harman International

Harman, a $7 billion international auto technology company, maintains a nimble global corporate comms team of 15. In the past 18 months, the company has evolved from a manufacturing-centered business to a software-focused organization developing connected solutions for the car, home, and work.

Even with no advertising against the brand and competition from Google and Apple, the comms team secured hundreds of global placements, including more than 80 connected-car profiles and feature stories and 24 strategic speaking engagements.

Through the department’s media relations efforts, Harman was cited as a top-three breakout brand at CES and recognized by Fast Company as one of the industry’s most innovative companies.

The Harman.com newsroom served as a central hub throughout CES, delivering a six-fold spike in traffic. Media results were significant — more than 900 articles in outlets including CNBC and Forbes.

Harman received 29 awards at CES and secured three on-stage speaking engagements. Comms support of innovation showcased at CES resulted in seven business leads with automotive manufacturers.

The team also collaborated with agency partners on a thought-leadership campaign for the brand, securing 36 corporate features, 11 bylines, 11 profiles, and 13 high-profile speaking engagements.

In addition, the team bolstered its corporate social media program, resulting in a 32% increase in followers and a 54% rise in online share of voice versus competitors on digital and social channels.

The team did all this while onboarding employees from six major acquisitions.
After a revamp of Harman’s intranet portal by the comms team, page views increased an average of 68% for the period of April-June 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.

One judge said the team "demonstrated the value of PR in an industry undergoing tremendous change and does it with a small internal staff.

Honorable Mention

JetBlue Airways

Fresh off finessing a CEO change in 2015, the comms team at JetBlue expertly managed messaging around a host of initiatives. On the services front, JetBlue had the distinction of being the first commercial flight to land in Cuba, which resulted in more than 5,640 articles and segments. The airline also announced plans for West Coast expansion by growing transcontinental premium service and adding seven routes, all of which received significant media and analyst attention. And it also unveiled its first major cabin restyling and announced plans to add 30 aircraft into its fleet.

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